British Columbia online sports betting laws
The British Columbia sports betting landscape has taken an exciting turn. The province moved quickly to take advantage of the legalization of single-game betting in August 2021 and this sports-mad region is one of the most progressive areas for online sports betting in Canada.
Is sports betting legal in British Columbia?
Yes. British Columbia sports betting is completely legal, with opportunities for single-game wagering since August 2021.
Is online sports betting legal in British Columbia?
Yes, British Columbia online sports betting is completely legal, and the digital offering is arguably the best in Canada.
How old do I have to be to place a bet in British Columbia?
If you want to enjoy British Columbia sports betting, you will need to be at least 19 years old.
If you want to enjoy the delights of British Columbia online sports betting, the process of signing up is very straightforward. As things stand, the only place to play online is at the PlayNow website, which is administered by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. This website stands comparison with some of the most sophisticated offerings delivered by sportsbooks in far more mature markets.
To sign up, follow the following steps:
Visit the PlayNow website and click the Sign Up button.
You will need to confirm that you are located within British Columbia.
Once you have verified your identity and age, you will be able to deposit funds in your new account.
Look out for the sign-up bonus to make your welcome to the new site even more pleasant, and make the most of it.
You’re ready to enjoy British Columbia online sports betting.
In the same way that the United States sports betting scene changed with the striking down of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, C-218 allows for each Canadian province to license single-game wagering and online sports betting if it wishes to do so. British Columbia had lobbied hard for such a relaxation of the legislation, and was poised on the starting blocks when it became clear that the bill was going to be passed.
On August 27 2021, the day the bill became law, British Columbia was one of seven provinces to launch single-game betting through its official platforms. Bettors wishing to place single wagers can now do so via the impressive PlayNow platform – and at the only retail sports betting outlet in the whole of Canada, the Sports Action sportsbook located in New Westminster.
It remains to be seen whether or not British Columbia will follow the example of Ontario and open up the market to competition from international sportsbooks. Offering licenses to experienced offshore operators would generate serious competition for PlayNow – but it would offer considerably more choice to British Columbia sports betting fans.
No, they are not. The Canadian government takes the view that the proceeds of betting should not be seen as a constant source of income – they are not derived from property or employment, for instance. That means all gambling winnings are exempt from income tax. The only exception is if you make a living as a professional gambler. You should also be careful to ensure that if you accrue interest from winnings, you should declare it on your T5 form or face a fine.
British Columbia is in line with the majority of Canadian provinces in insisting that anybody who wants to take part in the action at British Columbia betting sites must be at least 19 years old. This is consistent with the minimum age requirement at the 35 land-based licensed casinos located within the province.
Most modern sportsbooks use geo-location technology to ensure they can offer their services only to people who are physically present in the relevant licensed territory. This applies to British Columbia, where PlayNow online customers will have to prove they are in BC before they are able to play.
There has never been legislation specifically banning Daily Fantasy Sports from Canada. DFS have always been completely legal here. As a result, leading operators DraftKings and FanDuel both have large numbers of regular customers in British Columbia.
Interestingly, both operators have developed sportsbooks that are in use in several states south of the border. If British Columbia’s legislators should decide to open up the market to outside sportsbooks, both will have a considerable edge thanks to their existing DFS presence here.
Hockey is huge in British Columbia, as it is everywhere in Canada. The province has an NHL team, the Vancouver Canucks, whose two most recent Stanley Cup final defeats in 1994 and 2011 provoked riots in their home city. With plenty of local and college action too, there will always be plenty of hockey action to bet on.
British Columbia sports betting is well established, with online gambling going back to 2004. So it is not surprising, but welcome nonetheless, that the subject of responsible gambling is taken seriously in the province. Most people enjoy wagering as a harmless and light-hearted leisure activity. For a small minority, however, gambling can spiral out of control and cause financial and personal problems.
Several agencies in British Columbia offer practical advice, information and assistance:
The Responsible and Problem Gaming Program, run by the province’s government, offers support, a helpline and initiatives that raise awareness of the issue.
The Responsible Gambling Council, established many years ago, is seen as the principal resource for assistance with, and awareness of, the issue in Canada.
Problem Gambling is an organization with a deep stock of responsible gambling tools to help people who may have a problem, and their families.
The BCLC also runs programs and offers support and advice to those who want their engagement with gaming to be healthy.
British Columbia is the location of the only retail sportsbook in all of Canada, the PlayNow outlet at the Match Eatery and Public House in the Starlight Casino in New Westminster. You can also confirm physical wagers at any BCLC retailer via the Sports Action platform. British Columbia online sports betting is also available across the province via PlayNow, and it will be interesting to see if outside sportsbooks are allowed to apply for licenses in the near future. It will also be fascinating to see if sports betting is allowed at the 35 licensed land-based casinos within British Columbia.
Yes, it is. British Columbia online sports betting has been taking place legally since the PlayNow platform was first launched by the province’s lottery in 2004. Single-game betting has been permitted since August 2021. Many people still use offshore sportsbooks; technically, this is not illegal but the operators in question are not licensed to operate in British Columbia.
If the number of British Columbia betting sites increases in the near future, sports betting fans will be able to compare the PlayNow offering with other leading sportsbooks. Customers should look for a reputable, licensed operator that delivers a generous variety of markets and odds, and is equally generous when it comes to welcome offers and bonuses.
Yes, you can. The BCLC, which operates the province’s lottery on behalf of the government, allows people to buy lotto tickets online. It also offers a very good British Columbia sports betting option with its PlayNow platform.
Bet365 is one of the world’s leading online gambling brands. Highly trustworthy and with excellent customer experience, it has been for some time one of the British Columbia betting sites operating in the site without a license. If the province’s legislators decide to open up the market here to international sportsbooks, it will be very surprising if Bet365 isn’t a serious contender for a license.